Great Basin Naturalist


Extensive feeding experiments were undertaken to determine if physiological host specificity was a major characteristic of Posthodiplostomum minimum. This involved the feeding of experimentally infected sunfish livers containing metacercariae of P. minimum to amphibian, reptilian, avian and mammalian hosts. Host-induced morphological variations of adult P. minimum were shown to be associated with the genus and class of host employed as well as with the inherent variability of P. minimum exclusive of host factors. Morphological characters such as body size and shape and tegumental surface and spines are indicated as undergoing morphological variation. Of all the experimental definitive hosts used, avian and mammalian are the most suitable for normal development of P. minimum. Amphibian and reptilian hosts demonstrate marked variation in the adult worm development usually manifested by pronounced size decrease.